Today, mobile phones have become an integral part of life. These devices help us stay connected to loved ones. However, that does not mean they cannot be a cause to worry. Sometimes, when one uses a phone to access the internet, one can become susceptible to online fraud without them knowing. Furthermore, scammers are now formulating new ways to fool people. Hence, some phone mistakes must be prevented to avoid online fraud. Some of them are:
Not updating the phone’s software
One of the worst phone mistakes that attract online fraud is the inability to update your cellphone. When one updates the phone, one can have the latest web browser, operating system, bug fixes, and security software at one’s fingertips. These can act as the best defenses against potential problems such as malware, viruses, and other types of online fraud.
So, to ensure the phone and its software work effectively, one must turn on automatic updates. This way, one can receive the latest updates and utilize them to keep safe at all times.
Keeping weak passwords
Some individuals use similar passwords everywhere. While this can make remembering the code or pin relatively easier, it can also make them more vulnerable to online fraud. Hence, using different or random characters as passwords are considered best. Such passwords can include symbols, alphabets – uppercase or lowercase, and numbers. Further, if one wishes to make things easier, one can adopt the alphabets and numbers that can be easily remembered.
Besides, one must use 6-digit pins instead of 4-digit ones for the lock screen. This is because the former can give one access to more possible combinations, making it difficult for hackers or fraudsters to sign in to your phone and other accounts.
Using public Wi-Fi that is not password protected
Although public Wi-Fi systems are advantageous, unfortunately, they are potentially dangerous. A study has concluded that 40% of people who use public Wi-Fi on the go had their data and personal information compromised. In such cases, it’s best to employ virtual private networks (VPNs) outside the house.
Typically these VPN services anonymize one’s data, thus keeping it untraceable through mediums like IP addresses, further aiding in keeping one’s data and personal information safe and even avoiding online fraud.
Clicking on malicious links from unknown sources
Modern-day fraudsters have become immensely capable of fooling scores of people. These wrongdoers track all the current affairs to take advantage of an individual’s financial situation. For example, some use fraudulent websites that can be used to trick certain users into disclosing personal information or login details in exchange for money.
Therefore, one must avoid opening unfamiliar attachments or clicking on unknown links. Then, one must forward such messages or emails to the Federal Trade Commission for further action.
Following unknown social media posts
Sometimes, during peak travel seasons such as summer, one can see seemingly innocent social media ads for flight ticket deals to well-known destinations where these deals come with an expiration date – before which interested candidates must make their choice.
While such posts seem similar to travel company campaigns, most may have extra fees hidden in the fine print. In such cases, when one uses a credit or debit card to pay for the fees, the card details eventually fall into the hands of the fraudster, thus making one prey to online fraud and losing a lot of money.
Using unsafe shopping websites or apps
When shopping online, it’s common to search for the best deals. While these deals can save you money, they can also be risky. Fraudsters often target online retailers that offer irresistible offers. They create fake websites or apps to trick people into making purchases. Unfortunately, after making a purchase, you may receive a delivery date that’s 3-4 weeks away. Worse, the scammer may take your money and never send the goods. It’s essential to be cautious when shopping online to avoid falling victim to these scams.
Hence, as a precaution, always check if the web address starts with “https.” Then, look out for the padlock symbol on the left side of the address bar. This guarantees that the opened website is secure for use.
In addition to the phone mistakes mentioned above, one must steer clear of strangers to avoid potential online fraud. This includes picking up calls from unknown numbers, not reading through the website or app’s privacy policies, and not using cybersecurity on phones.
At first, these mistakes can seem harmless, but they can cost a large sum of money in the long run. Further, one must never disclose personal information such as date of birth, passwords, and credit card details to anyone. If one has made their date of birth public on social media websites, one must change the setting to private. Additionally, avoid posting information like the mother’s maiden name, which can also be used to gain access to your bank or any other important accounts.
Scammers usually imply authority and instill fear to get prompt responses. So, asking yourself if an authoritative entity would ask you for personal information over the phone is important. Rely on your intuition to avoid making a hasty decision out of anxiety.